Non-Western Approaches in Environmental Humanities

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
University of Warsaw

International Conference
Non-Western Approaches in Environmental Humanities

Call for papers

11–13 July 2022
(Deadline for abstract submission: 15 January 2022)

University of Warsaw and via Zoom worldwide

organized by

The project “Non-anthropocentric Cultural Subjectivity”
realized as part of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” programme at the University of Warsaw

Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw

Keynote Speakers

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Ewa Domańska, Tetsuya Kono


Conference concept and coordination:

Aleksandra Brylska, PhD student

Joanna Godlewicz-Adamiec, PhD, professor at University of Warsaw

Gabriela Jarzębowska, PhD

Piotr Kociumbas, PhD, DSc

Paweł Piszczatowski, PhD, professor at University of Warsaw

Krzysztof Skonieczny, PhD

Conference description

The main aim of the conference (which is correlated with the topics of the project “Non-anthropo- centric Cultural Subjectivity” realized as part of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” pro- gramme at the University of Warsaw) is to reflect on theoretical frameworks in environmental hu- manities which have emerged as alternative or complementary to western approaches. We would like to support theoretical reflections concerning the relationship between human beings and the environ- ment that have been developed in non-western cultural contexts. By helping to determine the prob- lems crucial for “non-western” environmental humanities, the conference will also be a starting point for further cooperation and research.

We understand the adjective “non-western” in two ways. In one general sense, the term simply implies alternatives to the mainstream theoretical frameworks deriving especially from North America and Western Europe. “Non-western” in this sense includes the trends and theoretical conceptions devel- oped by researchers representing different geographical and historical locations as well as different cultural traditions, for example the Global South, indigenous and non-white cultures. A narrower un- derstanding of “non-western” suggests research perspectives applied on local scales. Therefore, one of the conference’s main aims is to concentrate on the Eastern European context. This focus entails the presentation of research concerning the environmental history of Eastern Europe as well as at- tempting to work out research frameworks reflecting the local, Eastern European perspectives on the relationship between human beings and their environments.

The conference draws on already existing debates in the field of environmental and postcolonial stud- ies, but will also open up new debates on relations between humans and the non-human environment which challenge the dominant Western perspective. We are open to stimulating case studies from Eastern Europe and the Global South. However, presentations focusing primarily on developing novel theoretical frameworks are especially welcome.

The conference will focus on the following broad topics and questions:

  •   decolonization of knowledge in the field of environmental humanities,

  •   environmental history of Eastern Europe and the Global South,

  •   relations between humans and non-humans in an age of environmental crisis,

  •   non-western imaginaries of non-human animals,

  •   non-western practices of environmental engagement,

  •   the environment in indigenous knowledges,

  •   alternative approaches toward the concept of “nature”,

  •   decolonization of concepts of toxicity and pollution,

  •   non-western stories about the Anthropocene,

  •   alternative ways of environmental storytelling,

  •   the idea of “situated knowledge” in non-western concepts.

We are open to presentations going beyond the topics suggested above. Proposals for pre-organized panels and workshops are also welcome. We especially encourage researchers from the Global South, Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as in- digenous scholars. We are fully aware that participation in the conference for scholars from these regions may be hindered by financial, political, geographical and pandemic-related circumstances. Con- sequently, we offer two solutions that may enable more inclusive participation:

  1. Participants may apply for reimbursement of their travel costs. Please note that we have travel grants available for a limited number of participants. We do not cover costs of accommodation in Warsaw during the conference.

  2. The conference will take place in a hybrid form. Scholars who are unable to come to Warsaw will have an opportunity to present their research during online sessions. Please state your preferred form of presentation in your paper proposal.

Practical Information

In order to apply for the conference please go to where you will find forms for submitting proposals and the reimbursement for the travel costs.

All submitted abstracts, panel proposals, and workshop proposals will be peer reviewed by the conference committee. Deadline for abstracts is 15 January 2022. Information about accepted presentations will be sent by 15 February 2022.